That’s according to number-crunching by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) on the goals set by participants in its continuous professional development (CPD) scheme.
Number 4 in the top ten most popular goals is “use data and statistics to communicate better”.
It’s vital that PRs realise that high quality data, suitably analysed, can make campaigns more effective. As former CIPR president, Stephen Waddington, sets out in a linked post: “Public relations is becoming increasingly data driven. That’s a good thing.” And he usefully sets out ten ways PRs can use data.
I’d add that this goal is not just about making communications better with data and statistics. It’s also communicating the data and statistics better.
Percentages, averages, correlations, projections, trends, blips, margins of error, significance.
You might find your analysis compelling and convincing, but can you explain your conclusions and make your recommendations to non-expert audiences – that could be your Board! – in ways that won’t leave their lost and confused?
And if they get lost, how about your designers, and – most important – your target audience (journalists, general public)?
That’s why I’m hoping there’ll be a spike in members reading the CIPR skills guide I put together on using statistics in public relations, or reviewing the associated webinar. Each has five CPD points.
And a plug for me… get in touch if you or your colleagues would benefit from some ‘live-action’ training – whether that’s a tutorial session for up to four people, a team’s lunchtime bite-size seminars, or tailored half- or full-day workshops.